This Is Oh So Cool

I think I’m a pretty cool person, although my kids tell me I tend more to the nerd side, but in this case, I’m referring to cool colors. Blue, purple and green are the colors that you think about on a snowy day (like we have in News York today) or the refreshing feel of forest on a rainy day.

Making a picture with cool colors can set a mood and that’s what I was going for when I made this picture. I was inspired by the prompts from drawriot and my Art Sparks Creative Project Card Deck. Card #6 tells you to create a picture with cool colors dominant and accents of warm colors.screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-4-54-32-pm

With the prompt of fish, I created this picture, a drawing in ink. Does it make you feel calm or energized? img_2063

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Who Said Plants Have To Be Green?

It certainly wasn’t me. I’m a firm believer that things from your imagination can be any color that you want them to be and look anyway that pleases you. It’s the principle that I’ve subscribed to throughout my art career. And in fact, it is where I think that creativity is most expressive.

When we let our imagination run free we get to put her own particular spin on what we know. Getting stuck in a place where you don’t know how to get started expressing yourself is why I created Art Sparks, so I could share how I kept myself being creative. Today it was the challenge from with the prompt “plant.”

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There’s Nothing Like A Cuppa

Today’s theme from #drawriot is cup. Being a tea lover, having a cuppa, as my British friend Ros says, is a favorite punctuation to my day. In fact, my day doesn’t really start until I have my oversized cup of green tea. I love all types of tea: chai, white tea, black tea, jasmine tea, rooibos just to name a few.

I didn’t grow up in a tea family. My grandpa Nathan was the only tea drinker, consuming it in the old country way, from a glass that was held by the thumb on the top rim and index finger on the bottom. My parents were both coffee drinkers. Depending who put on the percolator on in the morning, it was either “water” (made by my dad) or “mud” (concocted by my mother).

My mother had a teacup collection with china styles from all over the world. It was a special way to have a souvenir. Even the most luxurious design could be affordable to a family that never could have afforded the whole set. So this was a collection of treasures and when my mother died, my sisters and I divided it up with special care.

So reacups became part of my ouvre in their own series. I haven’t done one in a while  so this was just fun. img_7569

If you want to follow the draw riot, click here.

What do you like to drink when you have a cuppa?

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New For January

Welcome to 2017! I hope that the holidayshave passed well for you and were what you were hoping for. I had a good time with family and friends and way too much food but now I am happy to get back to work and all things art and creative.

Inspiration for this new year has already come my way through a couple of my artist friends. Jennyann Carthern  sent me an email saying that she  is planning to blog every day during the month of January. I thought that was a cool idea and have decided to join her in that mission. Another artist friend, Tori Weyers,  has a project where she gives prompts for each day during the month of January. Look for her project at I am jumping in today with her prompt “light”.

I haven’t yet been able to get up to the studio to do anything other than cleaning it. So I took a few minutes with pens, water-soluble crayons and my sketchbook. I made this drawing called Light.

Have you taken on any special new projects for January?image

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Here’s your opportunity to shop for truly unique gifts for the special people in your life!  You can be sure that they won’t get 3 alike when you give an art gift. Have a glass of wine and refreshments as you peruse for that distinctive present.  Enter the drawing for artistic door prizes!

Looking forward to seeing you thenholiday-sale-2016-small

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This past week, after the election, it’s been a very difficult time for many of us. For me, it left me with feelings way beyond disappointment. It was despair and indeed the fear and terror for myself and the effect on the future of our country and, in fact, the world.

Knowing I was teaching the day after the election, I knew I had to find some way of coping for myself and the 17 hang-dog faces that would be meeting me that night at the Open Center.

I started working and came up with this project. I took out two pieces of watercolor paper. On one, I wrote all about what I was feeling-all the anger and angst I could get onto the written page. I then took paint and covered the whole sheet, obliterating as best I could the horrible, upset sentiments with color to blot them out. Taking the sheet of paper in both hands I tore it ferociously, imparting as much of the fierce energy into that action. I continued to rip and tear, expanding my feelings and, at the same time, creating shapes I could use.

Taking the second sheet of watercolor paper, I painted a simple background. Using about seven of the pieces, I composed a collage, glued it down and put finishing touches with paint and oil pastel


“After The Election” watercolor on paper 12×16

So it was that I converted some of my incomprehensible feelings into “After The Election” a work of beauty.
That evening, I did this project with my students. They created lovely works of art. But, for me, they works were even more beautiful because, to a person, as they were leaving, they said, ” I feel better now.” and “doing this has made me feel lighter.” It was the process that mattered. Not the product. Proof that art heals.

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Creative Spirit Workshop.jpg

Are you having a hard time after the election? I am too. But making art has helped. I’ve created a new way to reframe our feelings. My students who experienced it said:

“Thank you, that really helped.”   ∼Elvira C.

“I feel so much lighter now.”   ~Daniela D.

The creative process is a powerful way to express your inner feelings that may be too difficult to put into words. It takes us from the analytical to the timelessness of creativity! So join me on Tuesday & Thursday evening, November 15 & 17, 6-9:30PM. Register at .


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Flatbush Artists Open Studios is this weekend and you’re invited! I will be opening my home to share my work, along with 25 other artists at 14 locations in my historic Victorian neighborhood.

Come here first, a great start for the tour, on Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-5PM. I’ll have refreshments, lots of new art, cool gifts and you’ll be able to see the fun
ART SPARKS Creative Project Card Deck in action!

I am located at 190 Marlborough Road, Beverly Rd. station on the Q train (I’m only 7 houses from the station.) There’s also plenty of street parking. (#2 on the map).

Being creative has really helpful for me after Tuesday’s election. To help myself and my students, I created a project that works to reframe our perspective. Student responses went:

   “I’m so grateful for this art project. It really helped.”
                                      ~Elvira C.
                             “Making this [art] made me feel so much better. I needed it.”
                                      ~Daniela D.

Art is great for expressing feelings deep inside. By making art, you can go from worry and analysis to timelessness, intuition and inventiveness. Get in touch with your Creative Spirit at my Creative Spirit Workshop next Tuesday and Thursday evenings, November 15 & 17, 6-9:30PM. Held in the Downstairs Studio in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn, we’ll have a great time freeing your imagination, reframing your challenges and expressing your inner creativity!

Sign up for the Creative Spirit Workshop now! I provide all the supplies; you provide your beautiful spirit! We’re going to have a ball! CLICK HERE.

Lots of ways to be in touch with your creative spirit!

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Art Sparks Creative Project Card Deck affords lots of ways to charge up your creativity. So I asked some artists to give them a try and see what they think. So 10 artists will pick a card and project and make a post or video about it, 2 artists each day for the next 5 days. Each day, they will be giving away Art Sparks Card Decks and other goodies.

I used card #8. It looked like this:screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-10-15-34-pm

I diluted the black paint so it would go on easily, although it didn’t completely stick to the slick foil. I carefully turned it over on my board and used the back of my paintbrush to write on the foil and transfer the paint.

I looked at the black lines and marks from every direction to see if I saw the beginnings of images in the lines. I saw a sleeping face and the start of an elephant. I added transparent colors in a first layer, allowing me to see the black through the color.

I kept turning the piece to see what images came forward for me. My pinky paint seemed to find its way from an elephant’s head, down the trunk.  screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-7-45-24-pmI refined the forms with more layers of paint.


At one point I added white to push back some of the shapes that were not what I wanted. The central focus was a tree, whose branches lead your eye up to the swirling lines, like leaves blowing.




Here is the final painting!





To see my whole process in video (really sped up), click below.

Get your own ART SPARKS Card Deck at

You can see and share gets made with the Art Sparks Card Deck by joining our Facebook group – ART SPARKS CREATIVITY. See you there!


You enter by leaving a comment below telling me what you think about my or other’s creative process.  

Other stuff to do to get more entries? Each action will give you another entry into the drawing.

Visit the site of my partner artist today, Sadelle Wiltshire at Tangle Vermont, by clicking here. Then each day visit these other artists’ blogs to learn about their process and win other giveaways!


Monday, October 31, 2016 Karen Friedland

Sadelle Wiltshire

Tuesday, November 1 Jeri Bellini

Yva Lovee Barbour

Wednesday, November 2 Barb Owen

Tiare Smith

Thursday, November 3 Gina Ahrens

Melissa Partridge

Friday, November 4 Kiala Givehand

Tori Weyers

Giveaway rules: Giveaway is open to US residents only. Entrants must be 18 years of age and up. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Comment entries close 11:59pm, on November 6, 2016. Winner will be chosen by random drawing on November 7, and will be officially notified via email and must acknowledge the notification email by November 12 or the prize is forfeit and will be given to the runner up. Prizes will be shipped within a month of getting the winner’s selection shipping address.


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I’m so excited-the ART SPARKS Creative Project decks have arrived! They are a unique collection of inspiring art projects. So if you are a beginner, aching to get creative or feeling stuck and overwhelmed, the projects give you the perfect nudge to get creating.


And if you’re a seasoned pro, the projects provide a jumping off point. Everyone will be inspired by the cards’ flipside, filled with my colorful art. A great gift for creative folks in your life-including YOU! To learn more and to buy them – CLICK HERE.

In order to launch ART SPARKS , I’ve enlisted the help of eight other artists to create a blog hop with me, starting Monday, October 31. In case you’re not familiar with blog hops, it’s when a group of people get together and post on the same topic.


ART SPARKS cards have projects on one side and my art on the flip side.  In the ART SPARKS Blog Hop, each artist will pick a project card and make their own personal creation based on their card. One of the great things about ART SPARKS is that each project provides inspiration and a framework, giving you room to express yourself. Each blogger will post a video or step-by-step photos as they make their project. I can’t wait to see all they come up with! Each blogger has a specific day, starting October 31. In the meantime, I will post the schedule with their website. When their day comes up, I will put in the link to the exact post. So you can check back here anytime to see the active links.


Monday, October 31, 2016 Karen Friedland

Sadelle Wiltshire

Tuesday, November 1 Jeri Bellini

Yva Lovee Barbour

Wednesday, November 2 Barb Owen

Tiare Smith

Thursday, November 3 Gina Ahrens

Melissa Partridge

Friday, November 4 Kiala Givehand

Tori Weyers

As an extra incentive to join us on this blog hop journey, there will be lots of giveaways-Arts Sparks card decks, art and classes. So don’t miss any of the posts and you won’t miss out on the goodies!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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